MIKA VAINIO – ELVIS’S TV ROOM
DANIEL MENCHE – INCINERATION (PART TWO)
DAPHNE ORAM – PULSE PERSEPHONE
EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH – BEYOND THE PALE
CONRAD SCHNITZLER – UNDERWATER CHURCH
THE INFANT CYCLE – 4 AM WALLPAPER (PART FIVE)
ZOVIET*FRANCE: – NOT JUST WHAT TO SAY [CHARRM, 1993]
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR – THEIR HELICOPTERS’ SING
SWANS – A PIECE OF THE SKY (PART ONE)
2) Jeremy Nathan Dziedzic, “69°39’59″N 37°34’57″E” The Upstate Soundscape Vol III: Winter 2014
3) Hobo Cubes, “Subtle Sleep” Structurte of Stasis (Debacle Records)
4) Damian Valles, “Five” Excursions (BLWBCK)
5) VWLS, “Under Deep Cover, Lost in Light”
6) Cian, “Date and Time” Gemlux (Umor Rex)
7) Je Suis France, “Feeder Band” Afrikan Magik (Antenna Farm Records)
Oureboros’s is the collaborative project of Hamilton’s Rich Oddie and Toronto’s Aron West aka Tnon, two of the founding members of noise/industrial outfit Orphx. Their first release as Oureboros, Dreaming in Earth, Dissolving in Light, contains a similar penchant for industrial soundscapes that fans of Orphx will appreciate, especially the early more ambient period before Tnon departed in 1995 to co-found Tropism.
The album begins by forcing the listener to descend from our overworld into the heart of a mountain. It slowly drones deeply as you experience your spirit dropping lower and lower. The piece as a whole seems to be an experiment in abstract dissonance, again reminiscent of early (and later) Orphx. Even when the sonic environment brightens up through dissolving, it inevitably evolves into a mutated doppelgänger of itself. While the instrumentation does include live instruments, it is–as far as I can tell–mostly limited to pure frequencies, noise, and synthesized sounds or effects. Overall, the songs are not minimalistic, yet they retain the droning and ambient structure in most (arguably all) places. The description provided on their website is a perhaps an apt way of explaining it: “… A unique fusion of deep ambient electronics, apocalyptic industrial, and ritualistic six-string walls of sound that evoke elements of black metal and shoegaze.”
An interesting aspect of this album is how layered the melodies are, though the word melody might not be the best way to describe these shimmering shards of sound. Meandering through the different songs displays a diverse array of atmospheres and situations and your experience of this album will depend on which tracks your attention chooses to focus on. Chances are that “Dissolving in Light” will be the song to catch most peoples’ ears.
While the album can be simultaneously harsh, sad, beautiful, and caustic, it tends toward heavy darkness while avoiding the ditch of depression; it is spacy and psychedelic without the science fiction.
The production work on Dreaming in Earth, Dissolving in Light is top-notch. At no place did I ever feel as if I was anywhere but in the world that this album creates. The sonic cues are all just perfect and the range of dynamics is pretty spectacular, whether on the headphones or the speakers. It’s a very polished offering without sounding processed or over produced. Overall the album is very relaxing, which is not to say it’s peaceful. Perfect background music for lying alone in a dark room or doing light work. But don’t let it recede too far into the background or you’ll miss out on a lot of what gives the album its charm.
Here is a mix from Hamilton duo Orphx that was recorded at Montreal’s Mutek festival in 2010. On the surface, Orphx’s music and mixes (which generally consist of primarily their own songs) might sound like a darker more industrial take on traditional techno. Their inclusion in the Mutek festival though should clue you in to what those familiar with this duo already know–there is a lot more going on in their mixes then what you will hear in most other “electronic dance music” mixes.
Check their description from their soundcloud site below:
Since the mid-1990s, Rich Oddie and Christina Sealey have been creating a unique fusion of techno, industrial, and electro-acoustic music. Using modular and analog synthesizers, software, feedback circuits, location recordings and homemade instruments, Oddie and Sealey draw upon the darker tendencies of techno, electro, and dub, and combine these elements with the experimental aesthetics of early industrial music. Orphx has gained an international following as one of the pioneering acts within the European “rhythmic noise” scene. They have performed in numerous countries around the world, appearing alongside artists such as Alva Noto, Laurie Anderson, Monolake, Pan Sonic and many others. Oddie and Sealey have also collaborated on audio / visual projects and exhibitions related to their musical work. Orphx have released nine full length albums and numerous singles on vinyl, cd and cassette. Their most recent work further develops a dark hybrid of techno, dub and industrial that has garnered critical acclaim from many of techno’s leading DJs.
1) Velvet Elvis, “Where’s Your Marlboro Man Now?” No Rules in the Wasteland (cae-sur-a)
2) SlowPitch, “Teary-Eyed Bird Watcher”
3) Orphx, “Signal to Noise,” Circuitbreaking (Hymen)
4) Katastrophic, “Refigure (Mark Kloud Remix)”
5) Kristachuwan, “Rurricane Helics”
6) Kid on Purpose, “Saul Solemnly Searching his Soul on the Surface of the Sun,” Diffusion Tensor (Level 4 Activated)
7) Skeleton Zoo, “Broken Sky Welder”
8) Sink/Sink, “Astronavt,” The Darkest Dark Goes (Feedback Loop Label)
9) Occult Modem Setting, “Submit (Directly to Chef),” Compression Artifacts
10) Todd Peck, “Daze Away” Adirondack Ocean
11) Kevin Hume, “Love is a Feeling,” Out of Nowhere – Electro-Acoustic Music from the Upstate Fringe 12) University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio, “Inferno” Electronic Music 13) Bent Spoon Duo, “B,” Price of Darkness (House of Alchemy)
14) KG Price with T. Andrew Trump, “Pulmonary Import”
15) Off the International Radar, “Critical Mass,” OTIR 003
16) Women, “Eye Sore,” Public Strain (Jagjaguwar)